News Round Up

ACCORDING to The Guardian, a 10-year-old Hermès Himalaya Birkin with a diamond-encrusted white gold lock is expected to become the most expensive handbag ever sold at auction in Europe when it goes under the hammer at Christie’s in London.

It's likely to exceed its estimate of £100,000-£150,000, putting it in line to top the highest price paid for a handbag at auction in Europe, which stands at £155,000.

Christie’s handbag specialist, Rachel Koffsky, commented: “Only three of these particular bags have ever come up for auction. We don’t think there are many of them out there. I have my fingers crossed that we will break records with this bag.”

WE don't usually get big storms in the UK, but last week was the exception.

The BBC reported that around 15,000 lightning strikes were recorded in four hours after thunderstorms and torrential rain swept across parts of southern Britain.

Stansted Airport reported delays to flights after a lightning strike briefly left its aircraft fuelling system "unavailable".

A Guardian story tells us that DNA sampling techniques may help provide answers to the legend of the Loch Ness monster.

Prof Neil Gemmell, a scientist from New Zealand leading a global team of researchers, said: “I’m going into this thinking it’s unlikely there is a monster, but I want to test that hypothesis. What we’ll get is a really nice survey of the biodiversity of Loch Ness.”

The mission will involve genetic code being extracted from the lake over a two-week period to determine the types of creatures that live there.

And then samples will be sent to labs in Australia, Denmark, France and New Zealand to be analysed.

“There’s absolutely no doubt that we will find new stuff, and that’s very exciting,” said Professor Gemmell.

THE quirkiness of British pubs is celebrated in new listings announced by Historic England, reports The Guardian.

They include a 1960s Roman-themed pub with a statue of Julius Caesar and its original patterned Formica intact; one designed around a nursery rhyme in Swindon, and another on a 1970s housing estate in Surrey that aimed to provide as many private drinking corners as possible.

Historic England spokesperson Deborah Mays said post-war pubs had evolved dramatically from those of the 19th century, which had ornate interiors, match strikers, off-sales space and frosted glass for privacy.

Many postwar pubs were intended to be an integral part of the new housing estates being built, and had family rooms, and large car parks.

THE Independent reports on how Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire was forced to go into emergency lock down after a gibbon escaped from its enclosure.

Families were ushered into a restaurant for safety until handlers managed to recapture the animal.

The zoo said that the gibbon was only on the run for less than 20 minutes and stressed that no public or staff were ever in danger.

“As a precaution, and as part of our standard procedure, we temporarily closed the zoo this morning due to one of our gibbons being in an area he shouldn't be in," said a spokesperson for Twycross.